This set-top box rolls 4K Android TV, Freeview Play, and Chromecast into one neat package

tv recorder
(Image credit: Humax)

Humax is well-known for its set-top boxes for TVs, and it's latest model is the first to combine all the smarts of Android TV with Freeview Play, as well as 4K HDR compatibility.

The Humax Aura comes with built-in voice control via Google Assistant, as well as access to Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BT Sport, and more, thanks to its Android TV integration. 

As a Freeview Play box, you also get access to over 70 subscription-free channels, with the ability to record up to four live TV programs while watching a fifth at the same time. 

There are two hard drive options available, depending on how much content you want to record: 1TB will cover you for up to 500 hours of recording, while the 2TB option gives you up to 1,000 hours.

If you want to watch shows on the go, you can use the Humax Aura app to stream TV shows in your home or download them to watch later – you can also use the app to schedule recordings and set reminders for your favorite TV shows.

Google smarts

Humax says that setting up the Aura is easy, and "by logging into their Google account, users have instant access to all their downloaded apps, YouTube settings, music downloads, as well as Google Home connectivity".

As an Android TV device, Google Chromecast is built-in to the Humax Aura, which means you can stream photos, videos, music, and more to your TV screen using your laptop, tablet, or phone.

The accompanying remote control comes with several shortcut keys, including a Freeview Play button, Top Picks (which gives you content recommendation), and dedicated buttons for Android Home, Amazon Prime Video, and the Humax Kids' Zone.

There's also a button for Google Assistant; you can simply press it to activate voice control and ask the voice assistant any number of questions, as well as controlling the playback on your TV;. You can also ask Google Assistant to control your other smart home devices, for example, switching on your smart lights or turning up your smart thermostat.

So, how much will all that set you back? For the 1TB model you can expect to pay £249, while the 2TB will cost you £279, with both available from November (though exact timings are still TBC). 

Humax says you'll be able to buy the Aura from retailers including Currys, Argos, Amazon, and Very – all of which are expected to be holding huge Black Friday sales on November 27. While it's unlikely that this new PVR will see any big discounts, there's always a chance that the Aura could be including in site-wide sales events, which means it may be worth waiting until Black Friday to buy.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.